Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Joplin city manager's lawsuit to go forward
Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr's libel lawsuit against a Piqua, Ohio, businessman will go forward following a June 16 ruling by the Ohio 2nd District of Court of Appeals.
A jury ruled in Rohr's favor May 13, 2005, but did not award him any damages. Rohr, who was city manager in Piqua before coming to Joplin in September 2004. Rohr sued bar owner Charles "Mo" Gustin, claiming Gustin defamed him in a May 2002 letter to state officials who were considering revoking Gustin's liquor license, according to the Dayton Daily News.
Rohr's lawyer, Grant Kerber, said the award of zero is less than the "nominal damages" to which Judge Jeffrey Welbaum said Rohr was entitled. Kerber also noted that the eight jurors had not signed the verdict forms properly, writing "nominal damages," instead of their names.
A judge had agreed with Kerber's view, but Gustin appealed that decision, leading to the appellate court ruling.
No trial date has been scheduled.